Wrestling, one of the only disciplines on the Olympics schedule involved in the inaugural games in Athens, was given the vote to be reinstated as an Olympic sport for the 2020 games in Tokyo.
Originally in February of this year the IOC had opted out of including Wrestling in the 2020 Olympics after assessing the performances up and down the 26 Olympic sports from London.
After a strong bid that rivaled a combined proposal from softball and baseball and also squash the IOC voted in majority that wrestling be rightly reinstated.
As soon as the IOC dropped Wrestling in February they refused to rest on their laurels and were swift to act by changing numerous rules and modernizing the sport.
IOC President Jacques Rogge was in full praise of their determination to grow as a sport. “Wrestling has shown great passion and resilience in the last few months,” Rogge said. “They have taken a number of steps to modernize and improve their sport.”
Among the changes that have modernized the sport is the swap from three-two minute rounds to now two-three minute rounds and replacing the two-out-of-three scoring system with a cumulative system.
The cumulative system will encourage wrestlers to concentrate on the offense rather than to defend knowing a high score will guarantee a win.
The cumulative system will also integrate different types of scoring with takedowns being awarded with two points making it more valuable than a push or penalty point.
Jordan Burroughs, the Olympic and World Champion in the 74 kg weight class expressed his delight by saying “Freestyle has officially changed its rules as of today had made the changes Takedowns are now worth 2 points! I’m pumped!”
With changes comes challenges but with three years to go until the 2016 Olympics in Rio the wrestlers on the current roster have time to adjust.
In a boost for women wrestling, as promised, now that it has been confirmed that it will remain an Olympic sport FILA, Wrestling’s governing body, will introduce more weight classes
With Wrestling’s history buried deep into Olympic legacy it was hard to see any Olympic schedule without any form of Wrestling taking place but the IOC’s decision in February to exclude Wrestling proved to be the catalyst in the sports rebirth.